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Facts and figures

Cancer statistics in Australia

  • In 2019, there were over 147,000 new cases of cancer diagnosed, with just over 48,000 deaths from cancer in the same year.1 
  • Almost one in two Australian men and women will be diagnosed with cancer by the age of 85.
  • Cancer is a leading cause of death in Australia – and in 2023, three in 10 deaths are estimated to be attributable to cancer.1
  • In 2021, lung cancer was the leading cause of death in Australians aged 65-74.2
  • In 2021 around 26,000 more people died from cancer, than in 1981. This is due mainly to population growth and ageing. However, the cancer death rate (number of deaths per 100,000 people) has fallen by more than 24.5%.1
  • In the early 1990s, the cancer survival rate was just over 50%. By the late 2010’s, almost 70% of Australians survived for at least five years after a cancer diagnosis, and in some cancers; such as breast, prostate and melanoma, the survival rate was higher than 90%.1
  • The most common cancers in Australia (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer) are prostatebreastcolorectal (bowel)melanoma and lung cancer. These five cancers account for about 60% of all cancers diagnosed in Australia.1
  • In 2021, just under 1500 people died from melanoma of the skin.1
  • In 2016-18 there was $252 million in funding provided for cancer research projects and programs in Australia.6

Find out more about the cancer statistics in your state or territory

More facts and figures

See cancer types 

Media enquiries about cancer facts or statistics should be directed to our Media and Communications team.

Where can I get more information?

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

Australian Bureau of Statistics


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